A properly installed heat pump can provide significant savings in fuel costs over its lifetime of operation. But those savings may evaporate if the heat pump does not receive appropriate heat pump maintenance. Clogged filters and dirty coils on a heat pump can reduce energy efficiency by 10 to 25 percent.
There are several steps that you can do yourself to ensure the efficient performance of your heat pump. Clean or replace your air filters on a regular basis – usually every one to three months – and make sure the air registers are not blocked. Examine the outdoor coils regularly, and clean them if they appear dirty. Clean the indoor coils if you have access to them. Remove any debris or plant growth from around the outside unit. If the outdoor fan appears dirty, cut off the power to the unit and clean it. Clean the supply and return registers, and straighten their fins if necessary.
You should also have a professional technician check your heat pump at least once a year. The technician should check the filters, ducts, coils and blowers for dirt and obstruction. He should determine whether the airflow and refrigerant charge are adequate, and find and seal any duct and refrigerant leaks. The technician should also check the electrical connections and the operation of the thermostat. Finally, he should oil the motor, and check all belts if your equipment is belt-driven.
Aside from regular maintenance tasks, there are some signs to watch out for that may signal the need for a visit from a HVAC technician. If the heat pump trips the circuit breakers frequently, or you hear a grinding noise, then shut the heat pump off and call a technician.
Regular maintenance of your heat pump can help to keep your home comfortable and your power bill low for years. For questions about heat pump maintenance in the Dayton area, contact Detmer and Sons, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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